With the recent success of the Hiscox sponsored Sunday Times Tech Track 100, there’s never been a better time for start-ups to ride on the wave of the tech culture boom and take advantage of every PR opportunity available to them. Savvy tech start-ups should follow these quick and easy wins to leverage media interest to build brand awareness and credibility in their online offering.
If your tech startup releases a quirky new app and wants to get some high profile PR coverage, do you know the quickest way to target and approach key publishers and influential bloggers? A water-tight outreach strategy should be devised with a detailed influencer analysis performed, designed to define exactly which media outlets should be targeted. Once you have built a database of publications and websites, get yourself a subscription to Pitchbox, a great tool that lets you to automate the outreach process allowing you to email all the target publishers en masse and manage their responses accordingly. Make sure you tailor your pitch email to each individual outlet by addressing them personally, referencing the outlet in question and telling them you loved their recent blog posts or articles. A good base to start from with outreach is around 200 outlets if you are aiming for a target of up to 20 article placements. Remember, an article on an authoritative website relevant to your industry, will boost your backlink profile and can count as a vote of confidence in your brand. The more of these relevant links you get, the greater the effect you will see on your overall search visibility, not to mention relevant referral traffic opportunities.
Building your brand online is just as important to building your brand offline, after all if you’re a tech or digital startup your primary goal is to increase website visits or app downloads. A comprehensive social media strategy should accompany your PR efforts and act as promotional tool to share news and updates about your brand. Far from just posting the odd update on Twitter or responding to a customer complaint on Facebook, social media should be taken very seriously in order to reap its full PR potential. Often journalists will visit your website before heading straight over to your social profiles to tot up your followers, scrutinise your posts and examine how you engage with your customers and peers. Give yourself some practical objectives as part of an overall social media strategy. Be clear about what you hope to achieve in terms of positive PR for your brand and be realistic about how you will work towards this. Focus less on the narcissism of high follower counts and consider how to make your brand sound human to the media who are tasked with sharing its features with their readers.
Do you long to be the authority in the tech industry, regularly called on for your expert opinion on issues pertinent to your sector? Then you need to invest plenty of time and effort into thought leadership to build your credibility in the media as well as amongst your peers. Ensure you have authored several guest articles on high profile websites as well as some comprehensive reports and whitepapers that should gain traction in the media if it uncovers some interesting insights within your industry. The fantastic thing about successful thought leadership is that it can be done both online and offline whether that’s fronting a heated discussion in a LinkedIn group or speaking at an industry conference attended by well connected members of the trade press. Make yourself readily available for last minute media opportunities and use them wisely not just to blindly promote your business but to speak with authority about the changing face of the tech sector and where your brand fits into it.
Letitiah Obiri is an experienced and seasoned content marketer and copywriter, who has worked with some of the UK’s biggest brands including Tesco, Hiscox, Three Mobile, TK Maxx and Littlewoods. To see content marketing campaigns she’s managed for clients, check out her portfolio https://thedigitalchic.carbonmade.com/ and follow her @TheDigitalChic for musings on content, digital, social, freelancing, start-ups and small business.